The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is where children begin their journey through school. At Eyke we build on the children’s motivations and interests to support and extend their learning and development. The children have many opportunities to demonstrate their learning and understanding in a wide range of meaningful contexts. The adults in the classroom are responsive to the children’s play, interactions and thinking and as a result they facilitate learning by listening, guiding, explaining, questioning and helping the children to reflect on their learning.
In Ash Class, your children will learn new skills, new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 Areas of Learning and Development. These are set out in the EYFS Framework. There are 3 Prime Areas in our curriculum – Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; and Physical Development. These areas are paramount to your children’s successes, their healthy development and their future learning. There are also 4 Specific Areas of our curriculum – Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
The 7 Areas of Learning and Development:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
PSED is critical for young children in all aspects of their lives and gives them the best opportunity for success in the other areas of learning. We provide experiences where the children can build relationships with their peers and adults, learn about rules and behaviour, gain an awareness of their feelings and of others and their feelings, learn how to care for themselves and begin to learn about their own and other cultures. PSED allows children to develop as individuals and to help them to embrace differences in gender, ethnicity, religion, special educational needs and disabilities.
Physical development in Reception is about improving skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. It helps children to gain confidence in their ability, enabling them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active. They learn to move with confidence in a variety of ways, with imagination and in safety. Children are taught to consider the space around them and to consider the space of others. They consider the importance of keeping healthy and identify the things, which contribute to this. Children learn to recognise the changes that happen to their bodies when they are active. Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination form an equally important part of physical development. Children learn to use a range of small and large equipment safely and with increasing control.
Expressive Arts and Design
This area of learning includes art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play. Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extend their understanding. Children learn to explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions. They recognise and explore how sounds can be changed, sing songs, recognise repeated sounds, perform sound patterns and match movements to music. Children learn to use their imagination, express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings in a range of ways in all elements of this area of learning. Through building and constructing with a range of objects and materials, children begin to develop key design and making skills.
Understanding of the world
In this area of learning, children are developing the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of the world in which they live. Children learn to explore and investigate objects and materials; observing carefully and asking questions about why things happen and how they work. Children find out about the uses of everyday technology and how it can be used to support their learning. Learning opportunities also help children to become aware of and explore their own customs and routines as well as those of others.
In this area of learning the children enjoy playing with numbers, looking for patterns, discovering shapes and calculating simple addition and subtraction problems. The children will be engaged in activities including number rhymes, singing, clapping, painting patterns, building structures and playing games. Numbers can be labels and are in the world around the children. We use these experiences to help then to learn to recognise, form and know number names. The children will learn to count numbers in order and match numbers to a group of objects. They will also learn to combine groups and take away. Children will explore shapes and patterns in a wide variety of practical contexts.
Communication and Language
This area helps children develop all the necessary skills in getting ready to read, write and communicate effectively when they are older. We use lots of different approaches including action rhymes and finger plays, stories with repeated language, listening to story CDs. These opportunities enable children to develop their listening and attention, ability to speak clearly and widen their understanding of words. Communication and Language is an aspect of the curriculum that is infused across all areas of learning.
Literacy focuses on three areas: language and comprehension, word reading and writing. We spend lots of time talking with children about the books (fiction and non-fiction) which we read with them. We also enjoy rhymes, poems, storytelling and songs together. Phonics sessions enable us to teach skilled word reading and these skills are then built upon throughout the rest of the day by our provision of other activities. We encourage the children to make marks in a wide variety of ways including using chalks, water and brushes, gel and foam trays, wet and dry sand and also using different sized pencils and pens.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The curriculum also takes account of children’s learning not just in the 7 Areas of Learning and Development, but also in how they see themselves as learners and how they are building the strong foundations for lifelong learning. These are described in the Characteristics of Effective Learning and these are an integral part of our curriculum.
The 3 Characteristics of Effective Learning:
– Playing and Exploring
Children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’.
– Active learning
Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties. They enjoy their achievements.
– Creating and Thinking Critically
Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.